From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., December 8, 2016 – The USTA announced that Kathy Rinaldi has been named U.S. Fed Cup Captain. This announcement coincides with an expansion of the captain’s role. In this redefined position, the U.S. Fed Cup Captain will more closely work with Team USA players throughout the WTA Tour year, as well as support players in the offseason. Rinaldi will also work hand-in-hand with all departments of the USTA, including Player Development, to achieve maximum results. Mary Joe Fernandez previously held the position of U.S. Fed Cup Captain, stepping down in October, after 8 years at the post.
“Kathy brings a rare combination of skills to the Fed Cup captaincy. She was a top-ten player when competing on the WTA Tour and now is a top-flight coach with impeccable credentials. Kathy already commands the respect and confidence of the U.S. players. This coupled with her leadership experience, and winning mentality makes her the ideal individual to ensure that the team is best composed, and best prepared, to compete with whatever opponent is across the net,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “Just as importantly, Kathy understands the significance of working with our Community Tennis group to promote the game at the youth level – which will only help to recruit and develop the next generation of Fed Cup and Davis Cup players for the United States.”
Rinaldi, 49, was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in singles (May 1986) and No. 13 in the world in doubles (February 1993). In 1981, she became the youngest player to win a match at Wimbledon (14 years, 91 days), a record that stood until 1990. She also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open in 1981, at age 14, and again in 1987. Rinaldi advanced to the singles semifinals of Wimbledon in 1985 and reached the doubles semifinals of the 1985 US Open, the 1987 French Open, and the Australian Open in 1991 and 1993. She won three WTA singles titles and two doubles titles in her career. She received the WTA Newcomer of the Year honor in her rookie season in 1981 at age 14, as well as a WTA Comeback Player of the Year award in 1989 after suffering an injury in 1987. Rinaldi also competed for the U.S. vs. Great Britain in the Wightman Cup competition, winning in 1983, ’85-86.
As a coach, Rinaldi currently serves as Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women for USTA Player Development, focused on helping American pros achieve Top-100 rankings. She has coached the U.S. to multiple junior international team competition titles, including the 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup (2012, 2014) and the 14-and-under World Junior Tennis (2009-10), and coached the U.S. women in the Pan-American Games in 2015. Rinaldi has also coached a multitude of American junior and pro women on either a primary or supplemental basis, and was named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s National Coach of the Year for tennis in 2011.
“The change in the role of the Fed Cup Captain is part of the USTA’s attempt to align all of our divisions for the greatest benefit of American tennis,” said Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. “In Kathy, we have someone that understands the importance of this, as well as someone uniquely qualified and equipped to work with players throughout the year, benefitting the overall development of American professionals, while at the same time raising the level of the U.S. Fed Cup team.”
“This is an unbelievable opportunity, and I am incredibly excited and honored to take on the position of U.S. Fed Cup Captain. I believe that my experiences as both a player and a coach have given me insight that will help me to succeed in this role and can assist in getting the U.S. Fed Cup team to the next level.” said Kathy Rinaldi, Fed Cup Captain and Lead National Coach, Team USA – Pro Women. “I look forward to working closely with the players throughout the year as we move forward in our goal of bringing the Fed Cup back to the United States.”